May 11, 2015

By Allan  


Hello Everyone,

Thirteen items of note this week:

• 3/4/5 BEST Strings Academy Assembly, Tuesday, 5/19 at 1:05 – Tuesday next week at 1:05 will be a performance by Howard’s BEST Strings Academy for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. See the attached assembly map for logistical details.

• Tentative Tech Trot Schedule, Wednesday, May 20th – I haven’t ran this by the PTO yet, but I’m going to propose the schedule below for the Tech Trot on Wednesday, May 20th. Since it’s on a Wednesday, it won’t conflict with any PE or Music times and I worked it around recess, lunch and Artist in Residence times (except for Mellissa’s class who will have to jog with 4/5 or 2/3). Let me know any one has any schedule suggestions or sees any potential problems.

8:15-9:00, 4/5
9:15-10:00, 2/3
10:15-11:00, K/1

And on a related note, Kelly MS will be using the track during lunch recess on Tuesday instead of Wednesday since we’ll be using the track on their usual day.

• 2015-2016 Class Lists – With only 21 student day left in the year, it’s time to start thinking about next year’s class lists. Last year we simplified the class placement sheets onto one sheet, which hopefully saved teachers some time. Attached is the form (PDF or MS Word) to create your class lists. Class lists will be due to the office by grading day, Friday, June 5th.


• Summative Evaluations Update – HR has given principals the okay to focus summative evaluations on probationary teachers, so for contract (non-probationary) teachers, unless your someone who I’ve already scheduled a date for a summative meeting or unless you let me know that you’d like to have an end-of-year summative meeting, I’ll plan to do write ups only for probationary licensed staff. On a related note, HR is also planning to cut back on some of the Effectiveness and Growth Systems requirements for next year. They’re in draft form at the moment, but generally speaking the requirements for contract staff will be on more of an every other year cycle.

• Construction & Furniture Updates – Attached are the minutes from the last Owner/Architect/General Contractor (OAC) Meeting. Here are some highlights from that meeting and last week’s Design Team Meeting:

• Temporary Occupancy Submittal to City of Eugene – PiVOT submitted the temporary occupancy plan to the City of Eugene. The city is requiring an extension of the fire lane along the west side of the building. Jackson Luck provided a ROM (Rough Order of Magnitude) of $15,000 for the temporary site work required, but facilities staff and Todd Construction agree that it’s too early to try to provide accurate pricing on this scope. Todd will provide 4J with a site plan showing the areas of expected completion for a spring break move.

• Classroom Bookshelf Meeting Outcome – For staff who didn’t come to this optional meeting, the group looked at two options for the six 3’ x 3’ x 12” bookshelves, which were deemed too “tippy.” One option was to permanently install them in the classrooms and the other option was to install the six shelves back-to-back and have them as three mobile units. After much discussion and back and forth amongst staff, the group unanimously decided on having the bookshelves installed all in a row along the outside wall. There were pros and cons to each option and this option was the more expensive of the two, but it’s more similar to what our classrooms have now and it also has fewer moving parts our classrooms. Attached is a map of the different arrangements we looked at.

• Dirt Pile and New Playground Footing – You may have notice the giant dirt pile is continuing to grow, but if you haven’t been out on the track you’ll have missed that there is a big hole behind it. That hole is where they are getting ready to put in the footing for the hard play area of the new playground.

• News from the Emerald Empire Reading Council – Here’s the May Newsletter from the Emerald Empire Reading Council. This month’s newsletter includes professional development opportunities (including a free online one through the Library of Congress for PDUs) and other events. If you’d like more information, visit their low tech website.

• Title 1 Newsletter – Here is the latest district level Title 1 Newsletter that went out to Title 1 Coordinators and principals. This month’s issue is again mostly coordinator specific information and tasks, but there are some links to some workshop opportunities staff may be interested in attending.

• Spring Writing Work Sample Reminder – Not due until the May 29th PD/Planning day; attached are the K-2 and 3-5 writing prompts for the spring writing work samples. Grades 3-5 can use the written copies of the Smarter Balanced writing performance task. 3/4/5 teachers should keep those papers secure until we grade them on May 29th. 3rd grade decided not to use the performance task, so attached is a 3-5 prompt for any classes wanting to use this instead. Linked here is the teacher script and directions, which teachers should read before administering the assessment. Let me know if you have any questions.

• There’s no such thing as a bad kid in these trauma-informed elementary schools – This article was shared on one of the 4J School Board candidate’s Facebook page (that Erin pointed out to me) which sadly describes a number of our students. It’s fairly long, but it the gist of the article is that schools that serve students who face adverse childhood situations (living with substance abuse, separated/divorce parents, mental illness, domestic violence, abuse, criminal behavior, etc.) can choose to point the finger at parents and wait for them to change or they can work to make schools safe and nurturing, so that kids can learn no matter what’s going on at home or in their neighborhoods or in their extended families.

• Supporting Students in Crisis – Similar to the above article, this is a bit of a tear jerker from Teaching Tolerance about the experience of one kindergarten teacher working with a student in crisis. When Ronnie came to class one morning weighed down by personal tragedy, her kindergarten teacher had to think on his feet to give her what she needed. “Even if there was nothing more I could have done, Ronnie made me realize that my job as a teacher is not simply to fill young children’s heads with facts and ideas, but also to protect them. And—when I can’t protect them—to be there, a hand to hold when their fragile hearts are broken.”

• #BlackLivesMatter to 4J – #BlackLivesMatter to 4J is a grassroots group that’s formed with the goal of facilitating a series of events that will offer students and community members an opportunity to engage in dialogue and education around the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Attached is a draft flyer of some planned future meetings, but I’ll keep folks updated as this group and their activities develop.

• Teaching While White – For Molly Tansey and Melissa Katz, being white educators means taking responsibility for confronting racism, privilege and injustice. Supporting students of color in your classroom is about more than having conversations about race and privilege. It is about having high expectations for every single student that walks through your door. And when a student isn’t doing well in class or has disengaged almost entirely? It’s about working hard to figure out the root causes of the problem before ever considering discipline and punishment. Read this Teaching Tolerance article on how the authors breaks it down.

• Schedule of Events for the Week – See the Google Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the next two weeks:

May 10 (SU)
Mother’s Day

May 11 (M)
Tail Feather Reward Challenge Continues
Smarter Balanced Testing Continues (No Groups)
12:00-3:00, Allan & Robin to Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP) and Title 1 Meeting (Ed Center)
2:30-5:00, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)

May 12 (T)
10:00-11:00, Allan to Super Boundary Policy Meeting (Ed Center)
4:00-5:00, Allan to Staff of Color Workforce Hiring Meeting (Ed Center)

May 13 (W)
8:15-9:30, Tech Visit to iT3 Classrooms
9:00-11:00, Allan to Construction Progress Meeting (Construction Trailer)
2:05-3:00, Allan to 504 Plan Meeting (Counselor’s Office)

May 14 (H)
BOGO Scholastic Book Fair Begins
2:30-4:00, Design Team Meeting (Library)
7:00-8:00, BEST String Academy Concert (Kelly MS)

May 15 (F)
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting

May 18 (M)
Tail Feather Reward Challenge Continues
Artist in Residence Begins (see attached schedule)
Smarter Balanced Testing Continues?
Reading & Math Spring Benchmark Testing
Library Book Return Week
Penny War Begins
3:30-4:30, 5th Grade to Kelly for Transition Meetings

May 19 (T)
10:20-10:50, Kelly Students Visit 5th Graders
1:05-1:25, BEST Strings Assembly (3/4/5)
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Room 7)
3:45-5:00, Allan and KG Teachers to Full-Day Kindergarten Implementation (Ed Center)
6:00-7:00, PTO Meeting (Library)

May 20 (W)
Penny War Ends
9:00-12:00, Tech Trot (Kelly Track)

8:15-9:00, 4/5
9:15-10:00, 2/3
10:15-11:00, K/1

9:00-11:00, Allan to Construction Progress Meeting (Construction Trailer)
9:30-10:30, Kelly WEB Leader Presentation to 5th Graders

May 21 (H)
2:30-4:00, Design Team Meeting (Library)
2:30-3:30, PBIS Meeting (Room 21)

May 22 (F)
3:00-5:00, 4J Retirement Celebration (Ed Center)

And let me know if you or your class have any requests for songs to play at the end of the school day over the PA system!